Calamity Angel

Opening: Unchained-Baptiste Thiry

Chapter One

The small ray of light trickled down through the grating above into a vile brick room with stone flooring. The walls were stained with old, dry blood as was the floor. Torches placed throughout the room provided the only light with large portions of darkness littering the room. The room was decorated with pillars and cells nearby, stuffed with people. A large golden throne sat at the back of the room, dominating the room itself.

The man on the throne drummed his fingers on the throne as he watched the scene before him. One of his bandits was holding a lady by her neck, a knife poised against her flesh, small droplets of blood seeping from the base of her neck.

"That's my wife, you bastard!" yelled one of the men from the room.

The man let the woman drop to the floor. She lay there quivering and sobbing.

The bandit nodded to one of the jailers and he used a key to unlock and open the door. The bandit moved in and pulled him out. "This is your wife?" the bandit asked the man, thrusting his arm towards the cowering woman.

"Yes," the man replied.

There was a glint in the bandit's eyes as he swung his fist towards the man's gut, something glinting in his hand. He pulled his hand back to reveal a small silver dagger coated with blood. He thrust the dagger into the man's abdomen seven more times. "Not anymore she's not."

The bandits around him cheered. He raised his hands in victory, letting the man fall to the floor, and then gasped as an arrow head protruded from his chest. The bandits quieted as he dropped to his knees and fell face first into the floor.

The man on the throne sat up, glancing around the room peering into the shadows. "Where are you, rat?" he said in a heavily accented voice. "Come out so I may give you a warm welcome."

"Your men already did that on the way in," said a feminine voice as a woman dressed in white shining armor materialized out of the shadows. She had golden blonde hair that flowed down and around her shoulders. A short golden cape accented her shoulders and back while a golden Chess Queen was emblazoned above her right breast. "I introduced them to their gods."

The woman on the floor scrambled behind her, clutching at her legs. "Please," she moaned. "Please help us."

The man's eyes widened at the sight of the emblem. "The White Queen," he breathed. "Men, stand up straight. We're in the presence of nobility," he said, sarcastically, hissing at the end. The hissing changed into laughter. The bandits all began laughing. "To what do I owe this honor?" the man asked, teasingly. He gestured right and left. "If I had known you were coming, I would have redecorated." He turned around, facing the throne. "Maybe a bed. Let my men fuck you before they killed you."

"I pity the man who tries to touch me with his...you know."

"Why is that?" the man asked.

"Because that man would know how a eunuch feels before he met his god."

The man laughed uproariously. "You've got guts! I'll give you that! And more cahoonies than most men. To come walking in a room full of murderous rapists all by your lonesome."

"I am not alone," she replied.

"Oh," the man asks looking around worriedly. "Where are they? How many? Who are they?"

"They're with me always," she said, unsheathing her sword. "I bring with me my gods!" Her sword began to shine with a divine light that drove back the shadows.

There was a clatter as most of the men dropped their weapons and fled.

"Cowards!" screamed the man. "Where are you going?"

"Screw you!" one of the men screamed back. "She's a Paladin. I ain't fucking with that. Ain't no pay high enough for my life!"

"But she's just a woman! A single solitary woman!"

Soon, all that were left in the room were seven bandits and the bandit leader himself. He looked around. "We are the true Red Hand. We will not flee like snivelling children. I, Erishad, shall end your pathetic life. Then I shall hunt down those cowards, and kill them myself. I tire of her. Kill her."

The cowering woman raced behind the nearest pillar as five of the bandits rushed the Paladin. She blocked the first one's attack, grabbed his arm and thrust the man's sword into the chest of one of the bandits coming behind her, his blood coating the first bandit's face. As he fell, slipping on the now blood-soaked floor, she twirled around and roundhouse kicked a third bandit. She finished twirling and plunged her sword into the first bandit's back. He slid forward, dead before he hit the floor, his momentum carrying him forward.

She twirled her sword and shifted into a guarding stance, taking a deep breath and releasing it as she did so, slowly circling the other two bandits as the one who was kicked rose up from the floor, rubbing his jaw.

"Not a scratch on her," the man said, making sure his jaw was set in place. "Just who is this bitch?"

Her back to the man, she didn't see him motion to the two by his throne to circle around behind her.

One of the three remaining bandits rushed her. She sidestepped and stuck her foot out, knocking him forward as she cleaved him in two from shoulder to hip, his blood spraying all over the pillar, his guts snaking to the floor. She twirled around in time to block an attack from the fourth bandit. She slid her sword along his and ducked, the blade ringing over her head, and came up, slicing vertically, slicing the fifth bandit perfectly in twain, his innards stinking the room with their foul stench. She turned around and pulled her head back, barely missing from being beheaded, her cheek being sliced open. The shock stunned her for a second as the bandit plunged his sword horizontally into her right shoulder, between the armor and her neck, making her drop her sword, blood oozing down her arm.

"Maybe your gods do not favor you," the bandit hissed.

"Neither do yours," she said, drawing a dagger and opening his neck, his blood spraying all over her face. He dropped to the ground, blood continuing to spray her face and armor, then slowly becoming a trickle.

She picked up her sword with her left hand and stood up, the movement making her gasp from the wound in her shoulder. She then turned her gaze to the bandit leader. "Your turn."

He smirked at her, confusing her. Then she realized why as she felt a hot flash of pain from her back as one of the remaining bandits slashed her back. She dropped her sword and collapsed to the floor.

He smiled at her, no merriment in his eyes. "You were foolish to come in here by yourself. What could one woman do against the Black Death Bandits? The most feared bandits in Aseria?" He walked behind his throne and pulled out a wicked, curved sword from behind it. He brandished it at her, grinning cruelly. "Today, you meet your gods."

He jerked up as something hit the ground by the two bandits' feet, a little black ball that hissed menacingly. "Heads up!" came another feminine voice.

The Paladin forced herself to dodge and roll out of the way, her wounds screaming at her, as she ducked behind a pillar.

KA-BOOOOOM!

The force of the explosion littered the walls with the remains of the two bandits and knocked the bandit leader back into his throne and through it. The throne collapsed into rubble as he slammed through the back wall, one of his legs sticking out.

Another female walked into the room. While the Paladin was human, this one was not. She had red bouncy hair with two yellow ears sticking out of the hair. She had a long snout with a black, moist nose on the end. She wore a blue jumpsuit with a bushy yellow tail swishing behind her. She was a kitsune, a fox demon. She looked at the Paladin. "Damn, Erisa, you really let them work a number on you."

"I told you to stay outside, Eva. I could handle this."

"You don't look like it."

Erisa stood up and winced from her injuries and almost dropped back down. "Okay. Maybe I'm worse than I thought." She propped herself against the pillar and put her hands together. Soon she began to glow, as her blood stopped flowing. The slash on her cheek began to close. Soon, her cheek and shoulder were good as new, not a blemish on them to prove she had been injured in the first place.

"That little trick never ceases to amaze me," Eva commented.

Erisa looked at the cells. "The jailers ran away so we have to open the cells another way since we have no-"

"You mean these?" Eva said, brandishing a set of keys. "I extracted them from their former owner."

"Did you kill all of them?"

"I let one or two go. Have to keep up the tales and legends somehow, right?"

"You know my code. I'm not in it for the fame or glory. I just want to bring justice to the oppressed."

"And what do the oppressed bring you?"

"Food?"

Eva laughed. "Always thinking so simple. With a legend, most people will be intimidated realizing who you are. That's less fighting you have to do."

Erisa chuckled. "Have to stay in shape somehow. "

Eva smiled at her. "You never cease to amaze me." She unlocked the cell doors, releasing the prisoners.

"Where to now?"

"The village to collect my pay."

The two of them headed for the exit, the villagers rushing past them, some stopping to share their thanks.

"What about all that talk of bringing justice to the oppressed?"

"I have to survive somehow."

Eva shook her head. "Sometimes I wonder if you don't change your code just to meet your needs."

Erisa stopped and glared at Eva.

Eva put up her hands. "Kidding. I'm only kidding."

They began walking towards the village again. "I'm the last Paladin," Erisha said softly. "I take my code very seriously." She began swooning and fell over.

"Erisa!" Eva shouted, bending over her. She checked Erisa over. "Poor dear passed out from exhaustion." She hoisted Erisa up in her arms and gently laid her across her shoulder. She turned and began walking towards the village, lights flickering on as the last rays of sun receded from the land.

Closing: Queen's Breach-Critical Mass